Black Swan’s new artists in residence begin their journey

Black Swan State Theatre Company have announced their resident artists for 2018. Designer Tyler Hill, Actor/Director Ian Michael, Lighting Designer Chloe Ogilvie and Director Katt Osborne will work closely with the company in 2018.

The Resident Artists program provides experience within specific areas of expertise and sustained engagement with Black Swan across the year.

Working alongside Artistic Director Clare Watson, the five artists will have the opportunity to develop leadership skills, collaborate on developing future programs, take on key creative positions throughout the season and become advocates for the company in the broader community.

Those in the program regularly attend rehearsals, company runs and specific events and activities in the year, introducing them to many professionals within their chosen field.

In 2018, Tyler Hill worked as the set and costume designer for Black Swan, Perth Festival, and DADAA on the recent production You Know We Belong Together, which was directed by Clare Watson. He will be the set designer on Hir, which will be directed by Zoe Pepper later  in the year. He will also be adding his designer eye to the theming of the Summer of the Seventeenth Doll dinner party which is being held on Saturday 12th May, and the company’s Dirty Dancing dance party later in the year.

As part of the Resident Artists program Chloe Ogilvie will be working as the Lighting Design Associate on the following 2018 productions: Assassins, The Events and Xenides.

Ian Michael will run post show events, script readings, attend rehearsals, company runs, events and functions and conduct artist meetings for the Company.

While fourth resident artist, Katt Osborne comes with a wealth of experience from the independent theatre sector and will act as an Assistant Director on Xenides. She recently was the Assistant Director on Dr Seuss’s The Lorax for The Old Vic in London. Katt will also be working with St Mary’s Anglican Girls’ School on experiences for their community, aiming to inspire students in their leadership aspirations.

Black Swan say’s it’s Resident Artists Program has evolved over the years with assisting emerging and mid-career artists being mentored within the company across all disciplines on productions in both the Heath Ledger Theatre and Studio Underground.

Kellie Parker, who is Rio Tinto Iron Ore’s Managing Director of Planning, Integration and Assets and Black Swan Board member said the program had many great outcomes.

“Through the Resident Artists Program, Clare Watson and the Black Swan team are investing their knowledge, skills and experience to these four young professionals, which will not only benefit them immensely but in turn will provide audiences and the next generation of young creatives with inspiration, both on and off stage,” Parker said.

“As Principal Partner of our State Theatre Company, we are proud of the high importance Clare and the Company place on providing opportunities for new and emerging talent and we look forward to seeing Tyler, Chloe, Ian and Katt’s influence on the 2018 program.”

Artistic Director Clare Watson, is thrilled to have these four highly skilled and diverse artists join the Black Swan family, which includes administration and technical staff, creatives who join us for each production, the Board and most importantly, the audience.

She believes that “each of these artists is dedicated to their practice, adventurous, and have an abundance of creative energy. We are all looking forward to collaborating with each one of these passionate artists, sharing their ideas, and as a team emboldening our vision for the company.”

The McCusker Charitable Foundation have been long-time supporters of Black Swan’s artist development programs, and Tonya McCusker shared her enthusiasm for the program.

“The McCusker Charitable Foundation is excited to support Black Swan’s 2018 Resident Artist Program. We look forward to seeing the Resident Artists contribute to the company and productions in 2018 under the guidance of Artistic Director Clare Watson. The Foundation has been a long-term supporter of Black Swan and the work they do on stage, as well as the important work they do off stage developing and nurturing WA artists,” said Tonya McCusker AM.

Company enters new phase with Nicola Forrest signing on as Chair

The company recently announced that its Chairperson of five years Mark Barnaba AM, will stand down in coming months.

Barnaba, who has steered the organisation through a period of substantial growth and transition, will hand over his post as Chair, to current board member Nicola Forrest, at the beginning of April.

Barnaba said he was happy to be handing over the reins to Forrest and he was a big believer in organisations having well planned succession strategies.

“I firmly believe that planned transition of leaders is vital for any organisation and choosing the right time is critical. Black Swan State Theatre Company is now in an excellent position, having transitioned to Artistic Director Clare Watson and embarking on a thrilling 2018 season for our audience”.

Barnaba said he considered one of his big achievements during his time leading the company’s board was the high high number of women involved in it’s operations.

“One of the achievements I am most proud of is achieving gender parity in our Board of directors, as well as being the only Australian major theatre company to currently have a co-female executive team. It is very fitting that Nicola is my successor and with Nicola Forrest, Clare Watson and executive director Natalie Jenkins at the helm, I know the organisation is in extremely capable hands”.

Having joined the Board in late 2013, Nicola Forrest said that she was extremely honoured to take on the role of Chair.

“I am exceptionally proud that we will be the first state theatre to have three women in leadership and I look forward to continue working closely with Natalie and Clare.

“Clare’s artistic vision is centred on making Black Swan’s productions more accessible and I am excited about our intention to serve the community with new works that present our diversity. I take the responsibility of this role very seriously and am full of anticipation for the seasons to come.”

The outgoing chair’s significant contribution was praised by Arts Mister David Templeman.

“I thank Mark for his outstanding contribution to the Black Swan Board and broader leadership within the arts sector, particularly in promoting the interests of women.

“His stewardship of the State Theatre Company, which has been during difficult economic conditions, has included the creation of the innovative future fund to support new Western Australian theatre such as the recent sell out production The Lighthouse Girl based on the novel by Albany author Dianne Wolfer.

To check out all the productions Black Swan State Theatre Company has planned for this year head to their web page

Source: Media Release, Image: by Cam Campbell; shows Chloe Ogilvie, Ian Michael, Tyler Hill and Katt Osborne.

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